Top positive review
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A GREAT Disney film not to be missed!
on February 15, 2003
The year is 1897 in London. Young mouse Olivia Flaversham (Susanne Pollatschek) lives happily with her father Hiram Flaversham (Alan Young) who is a toymaker. But when her father is kidnapped, Olivia intends to get him back. Aided by Doctor David Q. Dawson (Van Bettin), they go to find the renowned, legendary detective, Basil of Baker Street (Barrie Ingham). At first Basil is reluctant to help her but when he discovers that his evil arch-nemesis, Professor Ratigan (Vincent Price) is behind Flaversham's kidnapping, Basil decides to investigate. As they follow clues and use 'elementary thinking', the mice try to outwit the evil Ratigan if they are to save all of mousedom!
An incredibly charming movie, Disney gives us a fun and entertaining film for all ages. When I was very young, I was an avid watcher of ALL Disney animation films. But I remember that besides "Robin Hood", "Lion King", and "Aladdin", "The Great Mouse Detective" was my most favorite! I used to watch over and over. Unfortunately, over the years I strayed away from watching the old Disney classics until just the other day when I was rearranging my videos. I came across "The Great Mouse Detective" and I remembering how much I loved it, decided to watch it. And my, it's amazing how well I remembered it! I was able to say all the lines and sing all the songs while still totally enjoying myself!
My point in saying all of this is that the old Disney classics are... well... classics gems! Nothing objectionable for parents to be aware of for their kids, just some romping good fun. "The Great Mouse Detective" has it all; mystery, humor, a great setting (London), action, and suspense. And I can't forget to mention about the colorful characters, each and everyone incredibly likable. My favorite characters are Basil (of course, he's the hero!) and Fidget (Candy Candido, who has done the voices of characters in Disney movies "Sleeping Beauty", "Peter Pan", and "Robin Hood"). And I must mention that Vincent Price doing the voice of Professor Ratigan is a must see. I have always been a fan of his, listening to some of the old radio shows (example, "The Saint"), seeing some of movies, even watching him guest star on the old tv show "The Man from UNCLE". Just watching this movie for the chance to hear Vincent Price is worth it all.
And the music is also well-done by Henry Mancini and there are some fun songs:
"The World's Greatest Criminal Mind" (Vincent Price) - A rousingly funny song, I love the part where Ratigan begins strumming his harp!
"Let Me Be Good To You" (Melissa Manchester) - When this chorus mouse starts off this song, you're at first not sure what's going on. But after a while, I'm sure you too will begin kicking your feet up to the beat!
"Goodbye So Soon" (Vincent Price) - Great song, can't help but sing along each time though at this point in the movie, things are looking dire for Basil and his friends.
I can certainly recommend this movie for both kids and adults. Enjoy! Here are a few interesting trivia I found:
*~*Shortly before his death, he said that one of his most favorite roles was the voice of Professor Ratigan in the Disney feature "The Great Mouse Detective", especially since two original songs had been written for him.
*~*Basil of Baker Street and Dr. David Q. Dawson are named after Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, who played Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson together in several films. Also, in the film, we actually see the shadow of the 'real' Sherlock Holmes, and the voice is actually done by Basil Rathbone.
*~*The clock tower scene is the first major use of computer animation (the clock's gears) in a feature-length animated film.
*~*Impressed with Alan Young's performance of a near-authentic Scottish accent for the voice of Hiram Flaversham, studio brass cast him as the voice of the Scottish-accented Scrooge McDuck in a series of Disney film and television projects. He became the official voice of the tightwad duck.
*~*During the recording of Vincent Price's lines, animators sketched his exaggerated Shakespearean gestures and worked them into the animated poses for Ratigan.